Who else hates choosing a car?

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SilverDollars
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Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by SilverDollars » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:57 pm

When it comes to the car you drive, where do you all draw the line in the battle between enjoying your car, and the car that makes the most financial sense?

Obviously there are a ton of factors, including, but not limited to:

- Fuel Efficiency
- Safety
- What your commute looks like
- How much space/size you need
- Weather where you live
- Cost

I currently drive a 2005 Honda Pilot. It was formerly the "family car", with 3 young children who didn't exactly keep the car squeaky clean (I tend to keep my car clean).

Pros:
- Great in the snow (I live in CT)
- Plenty of space (room for 8, or large furniture)
- I don't feel like a runt on the road in an SUV
- It's a Honda, has 150K miles, runs awesome and always has, maintenance is minimal

Cons:
- Condition: 10 years old now, 150K miles, and a little older than it should be in terms of wear/tear as a result of being a family/kid car for 7 years.
- 150k miles. I've had no issues (knocking on wood), but the odds aren't great that it will get 180, 200, 225 without some larger issues.
- Poor gas mileage. While we have horrific Winters here, that only accounts for 25% of the year. The other 75% I am getting 17 MPG
- Zero curbside appeal. As a 10 year old car, and a family SUV, there are times where I am not proud to be seen in it with peers, co-workers.

I know the last item above may irk some ... but that is what I want to ask here: Does everyone drive a used Corolla with 200K miles on it since that is the most financially smart move? Or do some of you really care about enjoying your driving experience? I spend anywhere from 2 to 3 hours per day commuting (30 miles each way, can be bad traffic). I cancelled XM Radio to save some money, but I'm sick of my in car options. My wife's newer family vehicle has a back-up camera, which I think is fantastic. My car is the "beater" among my peers at work.

I have found myself longing for a nicer car the last 8-12 months, but every time I look at cars, there seems to be no such thing as an affordable luxury car with the fancy interior, low costs on service/maintenance, great gas mileage, and AWD in the winter. Some cars capture some of those (Subaru, for example), but I don't have interest in them aesthetically. The cars I like aesthetically are not practical (Audi, BMW, Lexus), especially in terms of reliability and maintenance costs.

I can probably drive this thing for another 2-3 years ... continue getting 17 MPG (hundreds of dollars per month more than smaller sedans in gas) and pay minor maintenance, lower insurance, and so forth. But man, it would be nice to enjoy my ride to and from work every day.

One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?

livesoft
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:04 pm

I just buy used Lexuses. They are really inexpensive around where I live. Everybody else has a new one, so finding a used one is a piece of cake. I have found a Lexus very practical in terms of gas (20 mpg in city) and maintenance (don't maintain it). They just go and go.

Then again, I live about 3 miles from my work, so commuting is inexpensive anyways.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:12 pm

SilverDollars wrote:One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
I don't understand the concept of "boring" with respect to cars. People can be boring. Places can be boring. Books can be boring. But cars? For me, the main characteristics of cars in the order of priorities are:
1. Reliability
2. Price
3. Safety
4. Comfort

In practice, I choose on the first two. Boredom is not even a part of my selection criteria.

Victoria
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Michread » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:15 pm

Nissan Rogue

SilverDollars
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by SilverDollars » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:18 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
SilverDollars wrote:One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
I don't understand the concept of "boring" with respect to cars. People can be boring. Places can be boring. Books can be boring. But cars? For me, the main characteristics of cars in the order of priorities are:
1. Reliability
2. Price
3. Safety
4. Comfort

In practice, I choose on the first two. Boredom is not even a part of my selection criteria.

Victoria
Your list above is what I have always used as well.

I'm not sure why, it's just more recently that I just dislike driving in my car, or being seen in it. I fully expected that some (if not all) people on this forum would go purely with whatever car is mathematically the lowest cost of ownership (since all cars are just depreciating assets). Perhaps it's because I spend about 15-20% of my day in a car that it matters as much.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:18 pm

I don't have a 200k Corolla.....

My daily driver is a 2014 Jeep Wrangler. I ordered exactly what I wanted because everything within 500 miles (the dealer checked) was $2500 or more with extra options. I have a 750 foot driveway and more area near the house to snowplow, so need a vehicle with a frame and 4 wheel drive and good ground clearance to attach the plow frame. I also have kids, so back seats are needed. The Wrangler is also somewhat fun with removable roof, a bike rack and ability to pull a snowmobile trailer (used mostly to bring brush to the recycling center). I hope to keep it for a very long time and perhaps give it to my 13 year old when he's old enough to need a car. It replaced a 13 Wrangler that was totaled over the winter (Ice....the tow truck went off the road on the way to tow it).

I also have a fun car. An 07 Lotus Elise that I bought after selling a Factory Five Cobra that I built in 1999. I added $10k to what I got for the FFR to buy the Lotus used from a friend. Although it is a semi-exotic car, it has the drivetrain of a Toyota Celica GTS and is relatively cheap to drive and maintain. I put maybe 3k miles on it a year.

In my younger days, I drove $300 Honda Civics. I have a paid off house, no loans or debts, enough to retire (I think) and am still working. I've always loved cars and have built street cars, race cars, run national car shows, instructed on the track and won track records in road racing and autocross. All of this was always on a budget. No $200k a year budgets....more like a few $k running an IT FWD prepared CRX. It's not all that boglehead, but compared to some of my peers, it is.

I also love helping friends buy cars. I always do a Columbo. Right as the deal seems done, I stop and say "just one more thing" and get something little. The floor mats from the other used Camry in the lot or a free fill up or something. Heck.....I once got the dealer to give us $40 to eat at Friendlys because they screwed up a car delivery.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:25 pm

SilverDollars wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
SilverDollars wrote:One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
I don't understand the concept of "boring" with respect to cars. People can be boring. Places can be boring. Books can be boring. But cars? For me, the main characteristics of cars in the order of priorities are:
1. Reliability
2. Price
3. Safety
4. Comfort

In practice, I choose on the first two. Boredom is not even a part of my selection criteria.

Victoria
Your list above is what I have always used as well.

I'm not sure why, it's just more recently that I just dislike driving in my car, or being seen in it. I fully expected that some (if not all) people on this forum would go purely with whatever car is mathematically the lowest cost of ownership (since all cars are just depreciating assets). Perhaps it's because I spend about 15-20% of my day in a car that it matters as much.
If you spend that much time in the car, perhaps, comfort should become a higher priority. As for the boredom, you could find divergence in music, audio books, or cellphone.

Victoria
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freddie
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by freddie » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:26 pm

SilverDollars wrote: One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
Buy what you can afford and makes you happy. Something like a Lexus RX hybrid gets you most of your list (we can debate looks and the gas mileage is more like 30) but that is going to be a 50k car. If you don't need AWD(you live in CT, not a place know for really bad winters), the ES hybrid is a 40k car. And if you don't need luxury the Camry and Accord hybrid are 30k cars. Affordable luxury is a bit of an oxymoron. When the stuff becomes affordable, we no longer count it as a luxury. Things like heat seats and a zillion air bags were luxury features. A ton of 25k cars have them now. Heck Mazda is advertising radar cruise control for the mazada 3.

Personally I am waiting for a 60k mid/small luxury car with a 200 mile electric range. I had a lot of hopes for the Infiniti LE but that was placed on hold. I would be wiling to settle for a luxury plug with 30 mile range but I am not driving around in a i3. I suppose there is an outside chance they look better in person.

SilverDollars
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by SilverDollars » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:36 pm

freddie wrote:
SilverDollars wrote: One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
Buy what you can afford and makes you happy. Something like a Lexus RX hybrid gets you most of your list (we can debate looks and the gas mileage is more like 30) but that is going to be a 50k car. If you don't need AWD(you live in CT, not a place know for really bad winters), the ES hybrid is a 40k car. And if you don't need luxury the Camry and Accord hybrid are 30k cars. Affordable luxury is a bit of an oxymoron. When the stuff becomes affordable, we no longer count it as a luxury. Things like heat seats and a zillion air bags were luxury features. A ton of 25k cars have them now. Heck Mazda is advertising radar cruise control for the mazada 3.

Personally I am waiting for a 60k mid/small luxury car with a 200 mile electric range. I had a lot of hopes for the Infiniti LE but that was placed on hold. I would be wiling to settle for a luxury plug with 30 mile range but I am not driving around in a i3. I suppose there is an outside chance they look better in person.
Thanks, Freddie.

I can tell you that unless I am buying a fairly well used car, the Accord and Camry are probably more in my range financially. I don't necessarily need the zillion air bags. Even the 2005 pilot has heated seats, I think those are fairly common now.

I may give the 2014 Accord Hybrid a test drive. It would keep me in my comfort zone in terms of the Honda family (and I have an affordable/reliable mechanic that knows Honda). Maybe wait a year and buy one that is a year old used ... apparently Honda can't even get them on the lots fast enough as they are in such high demand with that 50 mpg. Of course, they charge you 4K +/- for the hybrid, so you don't break even for years ... but that kind of car would take $225 a month or so out of my budget in gas savings.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by dbr » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:44 pm

I drive a fifteen year old car that perhaps might need to be replaced in sooner more than later.

As of now I can't identify any car, used or new, on the market that I would want to pay money to own. I guess I can identify wanting to continue to own the car I have.

The more expensive the car the more I would hate paying for it. The cheaper the car the less I would want to own that at any price.

So, yes, I hate choosing a car.

rec7
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by rec7 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:51 pm

I know what you mean. I have bought to small and to large. I think that is one reason people keep their old car so long.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:52 pm

freddie wrote:
SilverDollars wrote: One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
Buy what you can afford and makes you happy. Something like a Lexus RX hybrid gets you most of your list (we can debate looks and the gas mileage is more like 30) but that is going to be a 50k car. If you don't need AWD(you live in CT, not a place know for really bad winters), the ES hybrid is a 40k car. And if you don't need luxury the Camry and Accord hybrid are 30k cars. Affordable luxury is a bit of an oxymoron. When the stuff becomes affordable, we no longer count it as a luxury. Things like heat seats and a zillion air bags were luxury features. A ton of 25k cars have them now. Heck Mazda is advertising radar cruise control for the mazada 3.

Personally I am waiting for a 60k mid/small luxury car with a 200 mile electric range. I had a lot of hopes for the Infiniti LE but that was placed on hold. I would be wiling to settle for a luxury plug with 30 mile range but I am not driving around in a i3. I suppose there is an outside chance they look better in person.
^^ This, *IF* your other finances are in order - emergency fund, retirement on track, and your annual/monthly budget can manage it comfortably.

This reminds me of the concurrent "high end purse" thread, and other recent threads about whether one can/should/may splurge, and also "you can't take it with you", etc.

Another consideration: You mention "family". Is there a spouse involved? Is she/he on board with what you decide?
If not, that's another level to deal with, even if the finances aren't a concern.

For the amount of time you spend in the car, why not get something that will help you enjoy that time, IF you can "afford" it.
And for some, what will help them enjoy driving is knowing how little they spent and/or a sense of pride/sense of self that they are driving an old beater.
THAT IS FINE!
We each have different preferences - as should be more than obvious here these days :shock:

RM

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:05 pm

freddie wrote:And if you don't need luxury the Camry and Accord hybrid are 30k cars. Affordable luxury is a bit of an oxymoron. When the stuff becomes affordable, we no longer count it as a luxury. Things like heat seats and a zillion air bags were luxury features. A ton of 25k cars have them now. Heck Mazda is advertising radar cruise control for the mazada 3.
A CPO Lexus with 3-year warranty is under $30K, so why bother with Camry or Accord? Get the zillion air bags, heated seats, backup camera, and those sonar things for less than $30K. These are not $50K cars.
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by gtmn » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:11 pm

A used Lexus RX is our choice because they're so reliable and maintenance is so cheap. When we do need something fixed we go to the local Toyota dealership because they know the Lexus well and it's much cheaper labor. Depreciation is among the lowest of any car we've owned. Also, they often have solid safety features and crash ratings. (The older I get, the more I pay up for safety.) A Highlander is much the same as the Lexus, and you can get AWD for cheaper than a Lexus with AWD, all other things being equal.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by freddie » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
freddie wrote:And if you don't need luxury the Camry and Accord hybrid are 30k cars. Affordable luxury is a bit of an oxymoron. When the stuff becomes affordable, we no longer count it as a luxury. Things like heat seats and a zillion air bags were luxury features. A ton of 25k cars have them now. Heck Mazda is advertising radar cruise control for the mazada 3.
A CPO Lexus with 3-year warranty is under $30K, so why bother with Camry or Accord? Get the zillion air bags, heated seats, backup camera, and those sonar things for less than $30K. These are not $50K cars.

You could also buy a CPO toyota if you preferred used cars. You would have to run the math to see if the used car makes sense. Yes the list price is less. It will also last for less years (some one has used up 2-4 of them). And of course purchase price is only one factor. I would want a free Ferrari for commuting (assume I can't sell the car but have to drive it to work every day). The maintence is unaffordable:)

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Ged » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:14 pm

I regard desire for fancy cars as one of great triumphs of the marketing industry. Really I think if you went out and actually bought one you'd be suffering from buyer's remorse in short order. Do you want to be :oops: I spent $50K on a CAR? (Not including insurance etc.).

I can see wanting in car entertainment features like being able to play back audio books from a thumb drive as worthwhile especially if you have a significant commute, but there is no reason to buy a new car to get such a thing. My last car was built in 2001 before such things were common. I took it to a car place and they added in a new electronics package for $500 or so that I got a LOT of use out of. They can also add in stuff like rear view cameras if you desire.

As far as SUVs and 4WD, I used to have a Subaru because I lived in hell. The Viking kind, where it is always winter. Like 150-200 inches of snow per year. Nobody had central air conditioning because it was only warm two weeks out of the year. Unless you live in such a place front wheel drive and snow tires is all you need. As soon as I moved out of Fimbulwinter I found no need for 4WD. The added cost in gas consumption, acquisition and maintenance is not worth it unless you are in places like northern Michigan or Northern NY or Maine. Commuting in a SUV? I would think that to be kind of tiring personally.

As far as 30K CPO Lexus vehicles, you are talking about an ES model. The distinction between that and a Camry is pretty slim.

Think about it. Do you really want to be a puppet of the marketing industry? Are you really at a point where your self esteem derives from what kind of car you drive? Think about how shallow that sounds.

I am very happy with Accords and Camry. Great reliable long lasting economical vehicles. It's quite possible to live a happy life with these cars, or less.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by livesoft » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:16 pm

gtmn wrote:A used Lexus RX is our choice ….
I own 2 of them bought used. The 2001 is still going strong. It will probably last another 10 years to 2024.

@Ged, under $30K CPO Lexus … I'm talking about RX 350. Sure not much below a high-end Highlander. BTW, we have owned Honda Civic and Toyota Camry in the past.
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:33 pm

OP I agree, I hate buying cars. Our needs are varied so any buy is a compromise, and who wants to make compromises on a $30k or $40k or more purchase?

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:16 pm

gtmn wrote:A used Lexus RX is our choice because they're so reliable and maintenance is so cheap. When we do need something fixed we go to the local Toyota dealership because they know the Lexus well and it's much cheaper labor. Depreciation is among the lowest of any car we've owned. Also, they often have solid safety features and crash ratings. (The older I get, the more I pay up for safety.) A Highlander is much the same as the Lexus, and you can get AWD for cheaper than a Lexus with AWD, all other things being equal.
I bought a NEW 2009 Lexus RX350 for my company fleet for $43K and sold it at auction for $24k after 42 months and 106k miles. I was actually quite surprised at the money it brought at auction (at wholesale).

If I had my druthers, I would have kept the driver in it another two years ... however, he was anxious to ditch it as the guys at the club were calling it a "chick car."

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:05 pm

*IF* you can afford it, there's no issue with getting a new car to replace a 10 year old car with 150k miles. Those 15 year old 200k mile Toyotas and Hondas you hear people talking so much about started out new at some point in the past. Anyways, even thinking about that, you're falling into the trap of thinking about what others are doing, much as you are falling into the trap of worrying about what others at work think about your current car.

Ignore what others are doing. Ignore what others think. Ask yourself what it really is that bothers you about the current car. Focus on what you can afford and see if you can get something you like within your price range. Don't worry about what others think about what you like (if you think a car is too "boring", that's fine... as long as you don't use that as an excuse to get something you can't afford).

The thought process is this:
1) Why do I want to get rid of my car? Is this a valid reason (or list of reasons) or am I just rationalizing?
2) What kind of car would I like?
3) Can my family afford to buy that car?

Number 3 is a non-negotiable item.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by sambb » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:35 pm

I have owned all the brands - everything from honda accords and camrys to high end sports model german cars.

A couple of general rules:
Mainstream sedans like accords and camrys are always a solid choice
popular luxury SUVs (lexus RX, acura MDX) also solid in that range
German sports sedans - E class MB, 3 series BMW do well during warranty period
"regular" family products like toyota highlander, or subaru outback, etc do well

What is my point? Pick a common model in the range you are looking for. Common models sell well for a reason - they are popular for a reason - people have good satisfaction with them. All cars and trucks are compromises. So what - all relationships in work or life also have compromises, as do homes, vacations, etc.

I have learned the hard way (after buying more rare models), that common models have better resale, are easier to fix, and are easier to buy, and offer fewer compromises than models outside of the mainstream. I am done with more rare models or esoteric brands. Stick to the common and you'll be ok.

As far as buying the car, there are several examples of haggling etc, and several methods. Whatever, it will work out. I'm not concerned about saving $250 for negotiation - I am concerned about saving $2000 however. I don't mind the buying process - a good piece of advice is to go to the dealer an hour before they close. The deal will happen quickly with less shenanigans, or the price will be too high and you will walk.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Browser » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:25 pm

Wait for the 2015 Nissan Murano. Anything but boring looking -- maybe the opposite. Due out this fall. You'll have to wait another year for the new Pilot - I thought the thing was due out this year, but the samo box. 2015 Subaru Outback is looking a little better, particularly the interior and the electronics. Supposed to ride better and more quiet. Might be worth a look. I've been looking for the same combo of curb appeal, a touch of luxury, good ride, and economy too. So far, I've found the same tradeoff you have: either too dang expensive to buy and maintain or you're back to the basics with the interior, appearance, ride and comforts. New Murano might be a solution if you like the forward design of the thing.
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Watty
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Watty » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:26 pm

Does everyone drive a used Corolla with 200K miles on it since that is the most financially smart move?
My basic car ownership plan is to buy reliable cars like a Honda or Toyota new when I can get a good deal and then keep them for about 10 years or 150K miles. Usually I can get a reliable car like that to go that long without many repairs, other than routine things like brakes, timing belts, etc that you will have with any cat

A well maintained ten year old car like that will sell for a surprisingly good price so the monthly cost of ownership for the car is pretty reasonable over ten years. $150 a month for 120 months(ten years) is $18,000 so if I can buy a new $22,000 car and eventually sell it for $4,000 that would be work OK for me. (There would be other routine maintenance costs too, but you would also have those with any car that you own)

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:17 pm

I love choosing cars. I buy them so infrequently choosing a new one is a great pleasure. I used to hate haggling with the salesmen before I joined GM. But now as a GM retiree that's a thing of the past so long as I stay with GM cars, and there's enough variety in their models to keep me happy.
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:32 am

Hi,

It is very simple for me. When I need a car, I buy new Nissan Altima. I pay around $22K for my 2014 Altima. I have a 2006 Altima too. I had bought 3 new Altima so far. I found that Nissan Altima to be great value for the money at that price range. And, nothing had changed my mind so far...

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by BigTom » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:57 am

SilverDollars wrote:When it comes to the car you drive, where do you all draw the line in the battle between enjoying your car, and the car that makes the most financial sense?

Obviously there are a ton of factors, including, but not limited to:

- Fuel Efficiency
- Safety
- What your commute looks like
- How much space/size you need
- Weather where you live
- Cost

I currently drive a 2005 Honda Pilot. It was formerly the "family car", with 3 young children who didn't exactly keep the car squeaky clean (I tend to keep my car clean).

Pros:
- Great in the snow (I live in CT)
- Plenty of space (room for 8, or large furniture)
- I don't feel like a runt on the road in an SUV
- It's a Honda, has 150K miles, runs awesome and always has, maintenance is minimal

Cons:
- Condition: 10 years old now, 150K miles, and a little older than it should be in terms of wear/tear as a result of being a family/kid car for 7 years.
- 150k miles. I've had no issues (knocking on wood), but the odds aren't great that it will get 180, 200, 225 without some larger issues.
- Poor gas mileage. While we have horrific Winters here, that only accounts for 25% of the year. The other 75% I am getting 17 MPG
- Zero curbside appeal. As a 10 year old car, and a family SUV, there are times where I am not proud to be seen in it with peers, co-workers.

I know the last item above may irk some ... but that is what I want to ask here: Does everyone drive a used Corolla with 200K miles on it since that is the most financially smart move? Or do some of you really care about enjoying your driving experience? I spend anywhere from 2 to 3 hours per day commuting (30 miles each way, can be bad traffic). I cancelled XM Radio to save some money, but I'm sick of my in car options. My wife's newer family vehicle has a back-up camera, which I think is fantastic. My car is the "beater" among my peers at work.

I have found myself longing for a nicer car the last 8-12 months, but every time I look at cars, there seems to be no such thing as an affordable luxury car with the fancy interior, low costs on service/maintenance, great gas mileage, and AWD in the winter. Some cars capture some of those (Subaru, for example), but I don't have interest in them aesthetically. The cars I like aesthetically are not practical (Audi, BMW, Lexus), especially in terms of reliability and maintenance costs.

I can probably drive this thing for another 2-3 years ... continue getting 17 MPG (hundreds of dollars per month more than smaller sedans in gas) and pay minor maintenance, lower insurance, and so forth. But man, it would be nice to enjoy my ride to and from work every day.

One car I considered was the newer 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. It's boring looking ... but it does get 47 MPG (supposedly). That right there would be a $2500 per year gas savings.

How do you all handle this?
You think the new accord is boring looking ? Idk I love the look and it's got a ton of room , and it's a honda the most reliable cars on the road .

For my everyday car I could care less about most things , I have daily driven beaters till a year ago . Mainly cause I always had a sports car . After I sold the sports car I got rid if the beaters and got an 08 accord I really like the car , and not sure I want to go back to wasting money on sports cars anymore .

Actually when I look for a used car I am very interested in things IMO that would make it valuable to sell at a high price (good resale ) , unless it's a sports car then I just want to know how much power it makes . Everyone likes leather so I make sure cars I am buying have leather and rims not hub caps , to me they just seem cheap without those things , and I know when I go to sell the car it will get more money with those things .

You aren't going to get a an 4x4 SUV that gets much better gas milage then 17 . The weight and AWD suck up a lot of the gas milage . Have you considered a Subaru , only cause it's AWD and you said weather is an issue . IMO have great reliability . But my favorite reasonable priced car right now is the accord . If I had a lot of money I'd get the Lexus ES , but I don't .

As for hybrids , I don't like them at all . I don't think they are cost effective when you add in the extra cost to buy them , they drive funny too . Have you driven one ? Although you did mention that you drive a lot so a hybrid may make sense . But I'd just get a regular car that's good on gas .

Dandy
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Dandy » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:48 am

I don't have too much problems choosing a car -- it is the buying experience I hate. There are always trade offs when making a car purchase - lots to consider. Here is how I decide:

1. What size car do I need/want? Am I commuting a long distance? driving to the train station? Using it for family vacations?
2. Look at Consumer's Reports to find cars that fit my size choice and have high safety and reliability.
3, Look at cars in #2 within my price range.
4. Of those in #3 look at ones with high MPG ratings - if I'm going to put lots of miles on it.
5. Test drive a few of those that make the cut. Then decide on price, unique features (e.g. heated seats) and looks (there are very few truly ugly cars - most look very similar.)

I'm retired and last year traded in a 2001 Altima for a 2014 Subaru Forester. Safe (drive precious cargo like my baby grandkids), good mileage, roomy and comfortable. (my wife loves the heated seats in the winter).

We also have a 2004 civic which she uses to go around town with 100k miles on it. She isn't going to put much miles on it - but it is near timing chain expense and I'd like to upgrade before it starting costing money and go for a little bigger car. A recent used car might be the way to go.

With a long commute that you have I'd put an emphasis on safety, comfort, reliability and mileage.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Traveler » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:07 am

Choosing a car isn't the problem for me, actually buying it is. I hate the car dealership/car salesman experience. However, it is much improved from 20 years ago because much more information is readily avaialble so consumers have much more leverage in the transaction.

I drive a 2002 Accord with 200K miles. It's not pretty and while it is one of the worst looking cars in the parking deck at work, I don't care what people think. I haven't had a car payment for at least 8 years and many of my coworkers drop at least $400/month on their newer cars. I plan on replacing my older car in the next year or so. Probably with a Nissan Altima.

grok87
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by grok87 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:10 am

I do.
We are gearing up to buy a new car and uggh boy do i hate the process.
We used to just buy hondas but have recently become aware of a number of reliability issues with honda (transmissions on odysseys, windows on accords) so again uggh. I guess hondas aren't what they used to be. thinking about buying a subaru...
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by harikaried » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:15 pm

SilverDollars wrote:- Fuel Efficiency
- Safety
- What your commute looks like
- How much space/size you need
- Weather where you live
- Cost

I have found myself longing for a nicer car the last 8-12 months, but every time I look at cars, there seems to be no such thing as an affordable luxury car with the fancy interior, low costs on service/maintenance, great gas mileage, and AWD in the winter. Some cars capture some of those (Subaru, for example), but I don't have interest in them aesthetically.
Which Subarus did you look at? The 3 larger Subarus are pretty different aesthetically: Forester, Outback, and Legacy. (You mentioned Accord, so I'm assuming a minimum of 100cuft passenger volume, so that rules out Civic and smaller Subaru: Impreza and Crosstrek.)

Below are comparisons of various Subarus/Accord + safety package:
- Forester 2.5i Premium CVT + All-Weather/EyeSight
- Outback 2.5i Premium CVT + EyeSight/Blind Spot/Rear Cross Traffic
- Legacy 2.5i Premium CVT + EyeSight/Blind Spot/Rear Cross Traffic
- Accord Hybrid EX-L CVT + Back-Up Sensors

Highway Fuel efficiency:
- Forester 32mpg
- Outback 33mpg
- Legacy 36mpg
- Accord 45mpg

Engine:
- Forester 170hp
- Outback 175hp
- Legacy 175hp
- Accord 166hp

Safety:
- Forester AWD, EyeSight (adaptive cruise, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning), Rear camera
- Outback AWD, EyeSight, Blind-spot/Rear-traffic alert, Rear camera
- Legacy AWD, EyeSight, Blind-spot/Rear-traffic alert, Rear camera
- Accord Forward collision warning, Lane departure warning, Back-up sensor, Rear camera

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rating:
- Forester Top Safety Pick+, Superior 6/6 Front crash prevention
- Outback Top Safety Pick+, Superior 6/6 Front crash prevention
- Legacy Top Safety Pick+, Superior 6/6 Front crash prevention
- Accord Top Safety Pick+, Basic 1/6 Front crash prevention

Cost:
- Forester $27,240
- Outback $29,540
- Legacy $25,485
- Accord $33,209

Note, you can get adaptive cruise control on the Accord, but that requires the Touring model which adds another $3000. The Legacy as configured is quite a bit cheaper than the rest, but there are options to bump it up: Limited + EyeSight package also includes moonroof, keyless entry, pushstart for $30,280.

Perhaps the conclusion here is if you are looking at the Accord (sedan not SUV), take a look at the Legacy Limited that provides the AWD with solid fuel efficiency and a touch of luxury for a competitive price.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by rec7 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:50 pm

KlangFool wrote:Hi,

It is very simple for me. When I need a car, I buy new Nissan Altima. I pay around $22K for my 2014 Altima. I have a 2006 Altima too. I had bought 3 new Altima so far. I found that Nissan Altima to be great value for the money at that price range. And, nothing had changed my mind so far...

KlangFool

Not a bad idea but the camry base model is around the same price many times. Both can dip to around 19k certain times of the year.

RunningRad
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by RunningRad » Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:15 pm

I am not a car person. In the past, I drove BMWs and Volvos but realize that I am even more content with my 2011 Prius, even though I could afford more car. My "aspirational car" is the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. Maybe in a few years...
Few decisions in life motivated by greed ever have happy outcomes--Peter Bernstein, The 60/40 Solution

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:11 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (car).
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:44 pm

rec7 wrote:
Not a bad idea but the camry base model is around the same price many times. Both can dip to around 19k certain times of the year.
rec7,

In my opinion, you get a better deal with Nissan Altima versus Toyota Camry at the same price level. Toyota Camry is less responsive versus Nissan Altima. Plus, Nissan throw in a lot more extra at the same price level.

KlangFool

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by sscritic » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:54 pm

SilverDollars wrote:When it comes to the car you drive, where do you all draw the line in the battle between enjoying your car, and the car that makes the most financial sense?
From the thread title, I thought you were asking about someone whose car has died and has to choose a new car. I hate the buying part, but the choosing part is somewhat enjoyable. For me, it was all about dimensions. Minivans are longer that they used to be, so most don't fit into my garage. The other issue was car seat capacity; I was shooting for four with easy access to all of them.

Once I choose a car and buy it, there is nothing to choose (which is what I see your real question is). I keep my car until it dies, and then I go back to my first paragraph. The last one gave me 16 good years (during which minivans underwent the growth spurt mentioned in the preceding paragraph).

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by island » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:02 pm

No problem choosing at all. Only thing I care about is that it's a small 4 door sedan, reasonably priced, can be paid for in cash, preferably American because I've had good luck with GM cars and was burned by my first which was a Volvo, and that it comes in a color I like and choose and has leather seats. Always buy new and keep it until on last leg. DH can decide the rest. I don't even need to drive it first.

Traveler
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Traveler » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:33 pm

grok87 wrote:I do.
We are gearing up to buy a new car and uggh boy do i hate the process.
We used to just buy hondas but have recently become aware of a number of reliability issues with honda (transmissions on odysseys, windows on accords) so again uggh. I guess hondas aren't what they used to be. thinking about buying a subaru...
Both front windows on my '02 Accord broke over the years (the electronic motors). And the V6 transmission had to be rebuilt after about 8 years (apparently the 4 cylinder transmissions are great but the 6, not so much). However, overall I still don't think I've put much into the Accord and am happy that it's at 200K miles now even if it's the 2nd transmission.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by sscritic » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:47 pm

island wrote:No problem choosing at all. Only thing I care about is that it's a small 4 door sedan, reasonably priced, can be paid for in cash, preferably American because I've had good luck with GM cars and was burned by my first which was a Volvo, and that it comes in a color I like and choose and has leather seats. Always buy new and keep it until on last leg. DH can decide the rest. I don't even need to drive it first.
But what about a high end purse? Now that can be a tough choice. :)

Leather or cloth? Color? Capacity? It's all the same thing.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:50 pm

I don't hate the process only because I don't do it that much. If I was going every few years or so it could be a different story. I plan on my next car at least having leather interior as my current one (Accord) has black cloth seats that are my own personal lint roller for work each morning. Seriously, the only way to clean them is by laying strips of duct tape on them and peeling it off, the sweeper does nothing. I'm thinking a used Lexus sounds good. Problem is, I think my current car is going to last a long time. Woe is me.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Lafder » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:02 pm

I feel your pain. I don't like making the decision to buy a new car, and I really hate the actual choice of which car. I dislike having to pay for it, but I find that easier than the actual choosing. All of the pricing info online and Costco pricing deals makes the actual purchase less stressful than it used to be.

We last bought new cars in 2011 and decided to go with cloth seats and not the fancier things like navigation since it did not seem worth the extra 3k. But, 3 years later we both regret getting cloth. And the 3k spread over 3 years feels like it would have been insignificant.

The improved safety features are a big plus. How do you put a dollar amount on more airbags, crash test strengthening,and the newest eyesight/blindspot/lane crossing warnings?

My dilemma at this moment is: what is the cost difference that makes it worth buying a slightly used car without the latest safety features, vs the newest safety at a greater cost of a new(er) car? Especially when any newer car is safer than the 18 year old car we are replacing.

I would say as long as you are comfortable driving your current car, keep doing it. It will eventually become more clear it is the right time to replace it, or it will have a problem that is not worth fixing.

It helps to keep in mind a new to you car feels like a major upgrade if it is newer than what you are driving now!

It is great to hear so many other people who do not easily go buy a new (expensive) car when they get the urge. Some of my family thinks I am crazy to not just go out and do it more often. I think my brother is on his 25th car ! I am older, and I am on my 4th car.

lafder

island
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by island » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:15 pm

sscritic wrote:
island wrote:No problem choosing at all. Only thing I care about is that it's a small 4 door sedan, reasonably priced, can be paid for in cash, preferably American because I've had good luck with GM cars and was burned by my first which was a Volvo, and that it comes in a color I like and choose and has leather seats. Always buy new and keep it until on last leg. DH can decide the rest. I don't even need to drive it first.
But what about a high end purse? Now that can be a tough choice. :)

Leather or cloth? Color? Capacity? It's all the same thing.
Nope have my parameters for those too, but 2 different animals. I'm not a purse hound and they also don't cost 5 figures. For that we'd have to talk jewelry. :wink: Blasphemy in Bogleland!

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:38 pm

Folks,

Besides all the negotiations with the car dealer, if you get the initial car price quotation via Costco car program, you can get extra rebate / voucher through dealer. We received $200 voucher from the dealer via the Costco program when we bought our new 2014 Nissan Altima. Please take note of that if you are buying a new car and you are a Costco member. The offer varied by dealer and Costco location. It may be worth your while to check this out.

KlangFool

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:05 pm

Choosing has never been much of a problem. It is everything after that which is the problem.

I love the process of choosing a car. Since 1985 I have bought a new car every ten years. I usually start with a review of the Consumers' Reports car issue to narrow down what I'm interested in. I then research further (made much easier with the internet). Then I test drive my top two or three choices. That is where my problem begins as I always find one model that I like much better than the others. That limits the dealers I can buy from, thus reducing my leverage.

A weird phenomenon happened to me a few years ago when I knew that I would soon be in the market for a new car. I couldn't find anything at a reasonable (to me) price that I really liked. Several months ago I finally found something I wanted and the time was right. The information available on the internet and the ability to shop via the internet made the buying process much easier than in the past.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:37 pm

I also very much enjoy choosing a new vehicle. I have bought one every 8-10 years over the last 40 years or so. I'm on vehicle number 5. Each time I make a determination based on my needs and wants. First, I determine what type of vehicle and class I am looking for. In that time, I have purchased one SUV, one pickup truck, and three sedans.

I review the manufacturer's specifications and pricing to narrow my selection. I go do a fairly comprehensive test drive with those selections. Once my selection is defined to a specific make and model, I get the deal I want from a selection of multiple dealers or walk away. In the last purchase, the dealer capitulated six weeks after I walked out. One time I even waited a model year because the deals weren't right.

I have owned in order; Subaru, Toyota, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Ford. I have no blind loyalty to any manufacturer. They have all served me well including the current one.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by semperlux » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:14 am

VictoriaF wrote:I don't understand the concept of "boring" with respect to cars. .... Boredom is not even a part of my selection criteria.

Victoria
Hate to say it, but "it's a guy thing." =)

Guys have their real wives, & sometimes a "work" wife. Well, I see my car as my "commute wife." I want her to be aesthetically pleasing, have some pep in her, fit me like a glove when I slide into her seat, reliably there for me whenever I need her, & one that I can show off to my other guy friends =P Sometimes they can make up for some of the traits we're missing from our real wives, so they "complete" us haha.

But to comment on op's post, I hate the traditional ordeal of haggling for a car at a dealership, more than the process of choosing the car.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by grok87 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:17 am

Traveler wrote:
grok87 wrote:I do.
We are gearing up to buy a new car and uggh boy do i hate the process.
We used to just buy hondas but have recently become aware of a number of reliability issues with honda (transmissions on odysseys, windows on accords) so again uggh. I guess hondas aren't what they used to be. thinking about buying a subaru...
Both front windows on my '02 Accord broke over the years (the electronic motors). And the V6 transmission had to be rebuilt after about 8 years (apparently the 4 cylinder transmissions are great but the 6, not so much). However, overall I still don't think I've put much into the Accord and am happy that it's at 200K miles now even if it's the 2nd transmission.
thanks. I just had a new v6 transmission put in. at 125 k miles on an odyssey. hoping to get to 200k like your accord
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Aptenodytes » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:26 am

I drive my cars until they reach the point of not being worth repairing, which means that once it is time to buy I have little time to act. As a result, I tend to start figuring out what I want next far in advance, so when the time comes I'm ready to pounce. In this manner my search process is without pressure. If nothing looks right just now, I can wait. For my last two car purchases this approach worked out very well. When it was time to buy, I knew what I wanted and the purchase was quite routine.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by Browser » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:27 am

Hadn't heard this mention of transmission problems in V-6 Hondas before. But I have heard of problems with the variable-cylinder-management (VCM) system in V-6 Hondas, in which there have been complaints of oil use, plug fouling, noise, shudder related to the on/off of cylinders. Has anyone experienced this?
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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by munemaker » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:43 am

Aptenodytes wrote:I drive my cars until they reach the point of not being worth repairing, which means that once it is time to buy I have little time to act. As a result, I tend to start figuring out what I want next far in advance, so when the time comes I'm ready to pounce. In this manner my search process is without pressure. If nothing looks right just now, I can wait. For my last two car purchases this approach worked out very well. When it was time to buy, I knew what I wanted and the purchase was quite routine.
I do the same thing. I rely heavily on the Consumer Reports Auto Issue in my decision making. True the selection process is then without pressure, but I still end up scrambling around to locate the car I want and make the deal. Prior to this approach, I used to buy GM cars based solely on their looks, features and performance. Years ago, I discovered Consumer Reports, switched to (mostly) Hondas and discovered a whole new world of reliable motoring.

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Re: Who else hates choosing a car?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:50 am

Most new cars are really great today and getting more efficient with each model year. With 0% interest offers, there are fewer barriers to entry. Get a bargain on a 2014 and put your mind and money into a clever vanity license plate. In my state it costs $25 per year. If you get really creative you can get a custom license plate holder that compliments your clever plate and that can be your flash.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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